Why is There a Squirrel in the Tulip Tree?
You might have heard of the tulip tree. These flowering trees are popular because they provide hummingbirds with a tasty source of protein. You’ve probably even noticed that squirrels visit them for their nectar. But what exactly is a tulip tree, and why does one have a squirrel living in it? Here’s an explanation. Read on to learn more.
If you live in a neighborhood or park and see a squirrel in a tulip tree, you should take notice! The Tulip Tree, scientifically known as Liriodendron tulipifera, is a large, evergreen tree that is widely planted throughout the country. The tree is highly attractive, with its yellow-green leaves with a “cut-off” tip, and the nectar of its flowers attracts bees and other nectar-feeders. It can grow to be as tall as 130 feet with branches that receive plenty of sun. This particular squirrel was spotted in a tree that was full of blooms.
Its flowers resemble tulips
A tulip tree blooms from April to June. Its flowers are large, waxy, and yellowish green. They are about 3 to 4 inches across, with six upright petals. The flowers are surrounded by six long stamens. Tulip trees are commonly used for furniture, and the wood is fine and straight. The tulip’s leaves attract local moths and caterpillars.
It provides food for squirrels
This tree, also known as the Tulip Poplar, is an interesting choice for the garden because it can grow up to 130 feet tall and is home to a variety of nectar-feeding species. In addition to providing food for squirrels, it attracts bees and other beneficial insects. The flowers of the tulip tree are yellowish green on the outside and orange on the inside. Its leaves are broadly lobed and turn a vivid golden yellow in the fall. You can plant tulips in the garden as early as April after the last frost. They grow rapidly, up to 25 inches a year. Its flowers attract hummingbirds and bees, and its cone-like fruit provides some attractive ornamental value.
It attracts hummingbirds
I’ve noticed that a squirrel has been living in my tulip tree, so maybe that’s the reason. Hummingbirds love the nectar and pollen in tulips. Hummingbirds are also attracted to tulips because they attract bees and hummingbirds. But what if a squirrel doesn’t like tulips?
It attracts butterflies
You’ve likely seen tulip trees in gardens, but did you know that they are also favorite nesting trees for birds? The nectar-rich flowers on tulips attract bees and butterflies, such as the Ruby-Throated Hummingbird. Tulip trees also provide food for the larvae of some species of butterflies and moths.
It attracts fox squirrels
In attracting a fox squirrel to a garden, planting native trees is a great idea. Native trees attract many different species of animals, including birds and bees. They also feed on the seeds and fruit of tulip poplars. Tulip trees also attract fox squirrels, which feed on the leaves and sap of tulip trees. These trees also attract many other animals, including raccoons, chipmunks, and opossum.
It attracts bees
Tulip trees are a beautiful sight to see, but the curious squirrel who keeps clinging to their branches might just be the culprit. These large, stately trees, also known as Tulip Poplar or Yellow Poplar, provide a great deal of nectar for many different types of insects, including bees. The trees’ foliage is large and stately, with alternate, greenish-yellow leaves with up to six lobes on the tip, and four or five lobes on the lower sides. They turn clear yellow in the autumn, and their bark is thin and gray to brown. Their twigs are stout, greenish-brown, with a coating of white or yellow. The seeds, which are winged, are flat and fragrant.
Jessica Watson is a PHD holder from the University of Washington. She studied behavior and interaction between squirrels and has presented her research in several wildlife conferences including TWS Annual Conference in Winnipeg.